I do not give a damn about your child playing Little League or youth league baseball.
If you’re offended by that statement, then I’m sorry. I don’t want to see him or her celebrate victory or cry in defeat. I don’t care if your kid wins the USSSA, Dizzy Dean, Cal Ripken, Babe Ruth, Dixie League World Series or Little League World Series.
Keep your kid off television!
The public doesn’t give a damn about your kid either. Grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins may, but that is about as far as it goes.
I have only one kid who I care about in baseball: my grandson, Jackson. That is as far as it goes. He’s a champion. His East Cherokee team won the 6U Dizzy Dean Georgia state championship over the July 4th weekend in Boynton, GA. Jackson got the hit that won the championship game. The family is proud. Jackson may have a fine youth baseball career ahead of him. But, I hope the first time we see him on TV will be when he’s in college.
Certainly if it were your kid, or grandkid, you would be proud, too. But keep your celebrations within the family. Social media is totally up to you. But, keep it off TV!
A little background information here: I coached in the East Marietta Little League organization from 1993 to 1998. I was also part of the EMLL Board of Directors. Perhaps you remember that East Marietta won the 1983 Little League World Series (yes, on TV!) with the late, great Richard Hilton coaching the team. Those were wonderful years, for the most part. It was a great opportunity to help the players develop their skills and learn important lessons in their young lives while being part of a team. In 1999, we decided to form a youth traveling team. Big mistake. It was there I ran into the ugly underbelly of youth baseball: parents. But that’s another story for another time.
On its official website, Little League Baseball says it instills “leadership, character, courage and loyalty.” I am sure it does. The parents should abide by those goals as well.
But that’s not the point here. The point is that the Little League World Series has no business on television. Using 12-year-old kids to sell Frosted Flakes on ESPN is wrong. To me it’s the sports equivalent of children’s beauty pageants. I cringe at both. Television programming is driven by advertising. Youth baseball is not a commodity to sell a product. Neither is your child, or mine.
So. Be proud of your kid. Encourage him or her to play baseball. Instill the tenants that Little League Baseball promotes on its website.
Again, the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania has no place on television. It is there merely to sell breakfast cereal.